2013-02-20 / Opinion

GUEST EDITORIAL

Despite what some politicians would have us believe, public safety is a complicated issue

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Problems, Solutions &

Problems, Solutions & Politicians Most politicians are experts at nothing but their own political career longevity. They approach every problem and issue with knee jerk responses to certain public advocacy groups, which never discloses both sides of an issue, or special interest groups that tend to profit by fleecing the public & private sectors from their revenues. I am a certified firearms instructor and have been for over 25years. I also hold degrees, a BS and MS, in criminal justice with criminal investigative experience through my 14 years associated with federal, state & local law enforcement. I will approach the recent issues on gun control, gun and accessory banning and the prevention, or at least reduction, of gun violence using government stats and other empirical data and offer some real solutions. I will 2011 data from the FBI Crime Reports & the CDC reports on suicides and studies conducted since 1968 on gun control laws & gun violence. 2012 data is incomplete until mid-year 2013. The trends on the previous 10 years are all similar just to give some context to some figures I will use. In 2011 there was 12,664 homicides, of those 8,583 were with firearms of all types, 679, 8%, were committed with any long gun/shotgun & only 323, 3.7%, were rifles. In the same year there was 36,307 suicides in the US about 30%, 10,892 deaths, were committed with firearms. There was also about 485,000, 145,500 attempts, failed suicides and again 30% were with firearms. With these figures why are politicians, non-experts on firearms, non-experts on mental health, non-experts on criminology trying to limit or remove some portion of our 2nd Amendment rights? The three top national criminalist associations, of which I belong to one of them, most psychologists & psychiatrists and 51 studies conducted by the CDC, on gun violence, past and present gun control laws all agree based on empirical data conclude no present gun law or gun and accessory ban will decrease or prevent gun violence, mass killings or prevent criminals from obtaining firearms of any type. Some would say that the heads of law enforcement, police commissioners, police chiefs, especially from urban & surrounding suburban centers, disagree with those conclusions, yet they have no empirical data to prove their position. They are also political bureaucrats with other motives in some cases. The Colin Ferguson case is a classic example of failed gun control policy. How does a New York resident purchase a handgun in California, after CA legislators pass the country’s toughest control law with a 15 day wait period & background check, pass the background check by San Jose PD, ship the weapon back to New York and then commit mass murder killing 6 and wounding 19? Simple San Jose never did a proper background check. So the federal legislatures pass similar laws with a gun ban list. Does this reduce gun violence, murder rates with firearms; does it prevent criminals from obtaining firearms? No! Here is another fact on magazine capacity limitation. There is only nominal time differential between changing 10rd, 20rd, or 30rd magazines to increase projectile output. There is only a 5-10 second differential in changing magazines to reach similar net amounts such as 100rds. Here is what should be done to correct gun violence & deaths: 1) must focus on the mental health issue for both suicides and gun purchases. Remember there are almost as many suicides by gun than homicides by gun and that does not include the near 146K attempts with a gun. 2) First weapon purchase requires an in-depth background check, good for 5 years. Every other purchase should be an instant background check to flag any criminal or glaring mental changes. 3) Military & law enforcement personnel with mental health disorders should be monitored closely if they have firearms. 4) Gun free zones need to be eliminated through trained professionals manning those zones. 5) I believe everyone should take a firearms safety course to eliminate accidental fatalities, which I did not touch upon, starting in high school. This will eliminate or reduce accidental shootings and fatalities. It will also educate the youth and others how to handle a firearm if stumbled upon either out or inside the homes. Also it would promote gun safety for gun owners. 5) All gun owners must complete a full gun safety, usage and target training course. 6) Mental health records must be partially exposed to all background checks, notification of the type of mental disorder and if it promotes harmful or deadly situations with firearms. Our 2nd Amendment is our most precious freedom because it secures all other freedoms for tyrannical government officials or governments for which was the main purpose of the creation of the amendment, not hunting or owning a firearm. Bill Jordan a legendary Border Patrol & law officer once said on the old David Frost show “… guns don’t kill people, people kill people. If you take away their guns they will only find another way to kill and kill in mass if they have to…” Henry Teja Massapequa Park,NY

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